It’s been a long time that I’m waiting,
It’s been a long time that I’ve blown.
It’s been a long time since I’ve wandered
Through the people I have known
And if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind’s eye.
Yes, it’s still my favourite song, that one, 22 years later. I deliberately ration listening to it now; concerned that overexposure to it will somehow diminish the soaring swell of love within me as the dying notes fade. I don’t honestly think that will happen, but I’m not taking the risk.
Thing is now, I no longer have a northern sky. The first day I saw Maisie*, it was a cold, grey and bleak January morning. Uninspiring from the outside, then the full on horror that was the technicolour yawn on the walls. Jesus. I still shudder, just thinking of it.
And yet… I knew it had potential. Underneath the grim flooring and multicoloured walls, doors, and skirting boards (or more accurately, over the top of them with a fuckloads of magnolia paint and beige carpet). And mostly it was because of the view. From my bedroom, and The Girl’s. From the living room and balcony. South facing. 3rd & 4th floor, on top a small hill, looking out across the Rose Valley.
It gets the sun all day, stunning sunrises and sunsets, cloud formations, the ability to see where the weather’s coming from and what it’s bringing. Because of our location high up in the sky, I see sun and rain most days. Rainbows too, at least five since we moved in a month ago. No light pollution either, so clear nights show me every constellation. A thunderstorm a few weeks ago happened in full Dolby surround sound widescreen HD.
And if ever I have doubts or worries about whether we were right to move here, about the direction I’ve taken our lives in, I look out at that view again. All of the houses, every rooftop, every home, hundreds of them, if not thousands. Every front door closed behind people who are living lives I know nothing of, whose paths I will never cross. I don’t know anything about what they have had to deal with, what has hurt and damaged them, nor what quiet words bring them comfort and joy, what raises a quick smile to their face when they check their phone. And they know nothing about us either, how when The Blondies saw Maisie as she is now, with furniture moved in and most traces of paint gone [side eyes the still pink crackle glazed kitchen ceiling], they knocked me to the floor with a rugby tackle, and we all cried (me mostly because they really fucking hurt my broken foot, which spoilt the moment a little). They don’t know that when I finished painting**I sat on the stairs and cried for an hour, wondering what the hell I was doing and who or what I was doing it for. They don’t know how one text message can change a life.
Those people, whose lives I get a tiny little glimpse of, don’t know me and I don’t know them, but I see the lights go on in their houses every night, and I feel at home, here. I look out at that great expanse of lives, spreading out as far as my eyes can see, and I love it. I love it, all of it; I will never tire of this view. I love this feeling of all of these lives happening around me, all of these people, all of these stories that may never get shared, but still they happen. I love this place. I love the light that streams in. I love this. This brightens my southern sky.
*Yes, I call this place Maisie. No, you fuck off. It’s not a house, it’s not a flat, it’s a maisonette on t he 3rd & 4th floor, it has a number, but I needed to give it a label, to help The Blondies feel more of an attachment to it, so ‘Maisie’. No, seriously, fuck off.
**yeah, not finished, to be honest. It might get done one day. Fukkit.